Archive for June, 2014

Grow up financially while you’re still young.

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

imagesThe old adage of ‘the earlier you start to save for retirement, the better’ holds true today especially today. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when starting to think about your options:

How much should I save?

Try to start out at around 15 percent, and that’s a minimum figure — 15 percent of your salary. It should be as easy putting that much away and more into a 401(k) plan. If you have a 401(k) with a match, up to half can of your savings can come from your employer.

Where should I invest my savings?

Index funds are a great way to get started since they allow you a wide range of investments including funds that invest in domestic stocks and bonds, and international stocks. A solid investment portfolio mixes equal parts of all three. The key aspect of an index fund is that it is generally cheaper.

What if I have a low paying job that doesn’t allow me to save much? (more…)

Hey, your 401(k) is not a piggy bank.

Saturday, June 7th, 2014


With a piggy bank, you put money in and take it out. It’s a fairly simple tool, and it’s great for what it’s used for. A 401(k), on the other hand, is a great tool to save for retirement. But increasingly, they are being used as something they aren’t: piggy banks.

Recent studies show that Americans are increasingly pilfering from their 401(k) accounts. With the economy being the way it has been since the financial crisis, that’s understandable on one level, but the choice can put your retirement plans on a slippery slope.

According to the IRS, a whopping $57 billion was withdrawn prematurely from 401(k) accounts in 2011, up 37 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars from 2003. You could argue that if a person needed the money to survive, then an early withdrawal from a 401(k), even with the tax penalty, is better than most other options – to a point.

Unfortunately, younger individuals are withdrawing the most. According to a recent study, nearly 40 percent of workers between 20 and 39 cash out their plans when they change jobs.